Long way to go until information security fully embraced

By Erin Ayers on May 15, 2014

big-data-200x200Information security is big business right now, but European professionals worry companies are taking a short-term view of the risks, according to a new survey from InfoSecurity Europe.

Media coverage of security risks and the revelations about surveillance brought to light by the Edward Snowden affair at the National Security Agency last year have heightened awareness of the threat to data, respondents to the survey explained.

However, information security professionals feel their jobs would be easier with fuller buy-in from C-suite level executives.

“While progress has certainly been made over the past year, there is still a considerable way to go until information security is fully embraced as a core constituent of long-term business strategy,” said InfoSecurity.

“Big Data is big news. The ever-growing amount of information produced each day is touching every industry and sector, and affecting the way they function. So for those in the information security industry, who deal in sensitive data on a daily basis, the challenge that Big Data presents is increasingly vast; particularly as the amount of information produced is only set to skyrocket,” stated InfoSecurity in the report.

About two-thirds of respondents said they feel the amount of data they receive has increased in the past year.

“Added to this, 17.9 percent of respondents state they receive too much data on new threats each week, suggesting that big data is a reality – and a real challenge,” reads the report.

Survey respondents say sharing of information on threats to data has increased, helping to protect business intelligence, but nearly a third (28.7 percent) said they’d favor more cooperation. Over half (54.6 percent) feel their organizations can handle the challenges, however, and trust the accuracy of the data they receive.

The Snowden affair had two effects, the survey showed. Nearly half (49.6 percent) said the NSA surveillance issues made them somewhat or much less likely to trust U.S. technology companies. It also made 46 percent of respondents feel more pressured by their companies to protect critical information.

“The Snowden affair has been very or somewhat positive for the majority of information professionals,” according to InfoSecurity. “Some 45.1% of respondents feel it has had a fairly positive effect on enabling their business to understand potential threats.”

Survey results indicate the importance of information security is being realized at the board level. This emulates the broader shift occurring: a greater understanding of the information security industry in general, and its importance to the wider business. There are certainly signs that information security is edging its way into the boardroom – with 36.4% signaling that the Snowden affair helped make it a regular topic of discussion in the boardroom.”


Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at [email protected].